Anticipation for Justin Timberlake’s comeback at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards was just about peaking even before the three hour telecast began.
With heavy hitters like The Roots, John Legend, fun., Ed Sheeran, and Frank Ocean unanimously telling red carpet interviewers that they were most looking forward to seeing the Memphis native take the stage, the scene was set for something of a revival.
Fast forward to Ellen DeGeneres and Beyonce. After some shtick from the pair and an introduction from the “Crazy In Love” singer, who described Timberlake as a “true triple threat” and “a man who was born to make music,” Beyonce asked the Los Angeles audience to stand.
It was finally time.
Looking tight in a Tom Ford tuxedo and backed by a similarly clad 16-piece 1920s evoking Big Band, four backing singers, and Art Deco set pieces, fittingly the screen turned to sepia as Timberlake jumped straight into his latest single “Suit & Tie.”
Three dancers kept things moving behind the singer before the 32-year-old demanded “Get out that seat Hov!” before Jay-Z — who features on the record — punched through a 24-bar rap.
While viewers at home saw their television sets flicker back to technicolor, the already on their feet crowd were audibly delighted as Timberlake segued into the Motown pacing of “Pusher Girl Love.”
Luxuriant strings, harmonies you could swim in, and the singer’s trademark falsetto (well he was wearing white socks), the unapologetically gospel heavy “outro” capped a triumphant two-song set.
During the Grammys, Timberlake sat in the front row with actress wife Jessica Biel. The couple were placed next to that other power duo, Beyonce and Jay-Z. Pictured sharing a laugh together throughout the night, it was a paparazzi’s dream double date.
And like a gift that keeps on giving, Timberlake wasn’t done yet. After CBS’ Grammy broadcast wrapped, the singer’s Twitter promise of a surprise still to come was revealed.
Unleashing new song “Mirrors,” the mid-tempo sings of someone realizing their significant other is “shining something like a mirror/And I can’t help but notice you reflecting this heart of mine.”
The song is another cut off the singer’s upcoming album The 20/20 Experience, due out on March 19. All in all, an unequivocal return to form.
For a great breakdown of Timberlake’s post-awards 90 minutes show, enjoy.
What did you think of JT’s Grammy performance, was it worth the five year wait?